The Clock Is Ticking . . . .

According to the World Health Organization,
by the year 2020 depression will be the
number two cause of premature death worldwide.

How close are we?


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Self help for depression. Print E-mail

Depression saps away your motivation to live from day to day. However, there are some methods to win over this illness.

Are you struggling with feelings of hopelessness, feeling that life is no longer worth living? Are you always tired? Do you find yourself sleeping more than usual or suffering from insomnia? Have you seen a change in your eating habits - are you craving sweets constantly or has your appetite decreased significantly? Are you avoiding friends or crowds? Are you having problems trying to motivate yourself to go to work or to keep up with your daily life’s responsibilities, but don’t know why? Do you find it difficult to concentrate frequently? If so, you may be suffering from depression, a condition that affects millions of Americans each year.

If you answered yes to the above questions, you should talk to your family physician about this. Working together, you will be able to determine if there is a physical condition that is causing your problems. You will also be able to work together to determine an appropriate course of treatment. He may refer you to visits with other professionals as necessary. If you feel that you cannot do this own your own behalf, get a friend or family member to help you. Depression is serious. Don’t wait longer than a few days before seeking help. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you will feel better. It isn’t your fault. It is only a temporary situation, you will feel better.

There are some things that you can do to help yourself feel better - before and after you begin treatment. Find a good friend or a loved one or family member who can sit down with you and listen to how you feel. Ask them up front not to interrupt with any advice, criticism or judgments. Assure them that you can discuss what to do about the situation after you get done talking, but that just talking with no interruptions will help you feel better. Remember that this is family and/or friends and not professional counselors, so they may not know what to say. But, just having someone that you can sit with and release some of what you have inside is a big help.

Try to get some exercise daily. Any movement, even slow movement will help you feel better-- climb the stairs, take a walk, sweep the floor. Walk through a shopping mall. Spend at least one half-hour outdoors every day, even if it is cloudy or rainy. In addition, allow as much light into your home or work place as possible--roll up the shades, turn on the lights.

If you are having difficulties with negative thoughts or obsessing about difficult issues and hard times, divert your attention by doing something you enjoy, something that makes you feel good--like working in your garden, watching a funny video, working on a craft project, playing with a small child or your pet, reading a good book or watching a ball game. As the thoughts try to return, continue to push them away, finding something else to concentrate on.

Relax. Keep things around you as simple as possible while you are not feeling well. Try to avoid as many stressors as you can until the depression passes. If it doesn’t need to be done, don’t do it. Remember that you will feel better again, and then you can tackle those other tasks when you have the energy to better handle them.

Finally, take special time for you. This is a necessity in life, whether you are going through depression, or not. Then, as you begin to get better, you can start to educate yourself on depression in case you suffer from it again at some point so that you and your loved ones will better know what to do.

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SAMHSA's Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health